Padraig Harrington has thrown his hat into the ring to be named European captain for the Ryder Cup 2020. The Irishman is the latest to express an interest in the prestigious position.
Harrington has been a stalwart of the European Tour down the years as well as part of the backroom team of vice-captains during the last two Ryder Cups in 2014 and 2016. Now, he wants to take the hot seat for the 2020 edition when Europe head across the Atlantic to take on the United States in their own back garden at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.
A three-time major winner, Harrington joins Lee Westwood and Paul Lawrie among the candidates to take over from Thomas Bjorn, who skippers the European side in the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris in September.
The right time
“It would be good timing for me, 2020 for sure, in terms of where I will be in my career. By then, I will probably be back playing in Europe,” said Harrington, who remains largely based in the U.S. on the PGA TOUR.
Captains of the European Ryder Cup team must play in several European Tour events during their captaincy and that would involve Harrington making the switch back from America if he is to be considered for the role.
“I think the decision [on the captaincy] by the European Tour will start immediately after our current Ryder Cup finishes,” Harrington said. “They find out who is interested and get a feel for the players who are going to be interested in the job. There are maybe only two or three, or maybe four, who will be shortlisted to pick from.
“The decision is generally made just after Christmas to give about 20 months to the incoming captain to do what he needs to do. If you are Ryder Cup captain there are a lot of official duties and you need to play in a lot of European Tour events.”
Harrington played in six Ryder Cups and was on the winning side on four occasions. Having started with a defeat in the Battle of Brookline in 1999, Harrington helped Europe to victory at The Belfry in 2002, Oakland Hills in 2004 and the K Club in 2006. He was on the losing side again at Valhalla in 2008 but tasted victory for the fourth time in 2010 at Celtic Manor as a wildcard pick.
Ryder Cup appearances
That was his last Ryder Cup appearance, but Harrington was one of the vice captains for Paul McGinley at Gleneagles in 2014 and again for Darren Clarke at Hazeltine in 2016. That is one victory and one defeat on the captaincy side of things, while his playing record stands at 10.5 points from 25 matches with an overall win-loss-draw record of 9-13-3. The Ryder Cup 2020 may feel far away yet, but the preparation is sure to start soon.
Harrington has three majors on his CV, having won the Open in back-to-back years in 2007 at Carnoustie and 2008 at Royal Birkdale, as well as the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in 2008.
See also: Ryder Cup 2018: What We Know so Far